The Valparaiso University baseball team continued to play close contests in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader at Missouri State, as the Bears prevailed 7-6 in extra innings for their second straight one-run win to start the series. Valpo had the lead as late as the seventh in the nightcap, but eventually fell 9-4 to wrap up a long day at US Baseball Park in Ozark, Mo.
How It Happened – Game 1
- The doubleheader was originally scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Hammons Field in Springfield. However, with rain in the forecast and the Springfield Cardinals also battling weather issues for their weekend series at Hammons Field, the doubleheader was moved to 11 a.m. at US Baseball Park in Ozark. It ended up raining throughout the day in Ozark, so Game 1 did not get underway until 3 p.m.
- Valpo jumped in front in the top of the first on a little-league home run (also known as a single and a three-base error) by Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson). Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo), who had ripped a double earlier in the inning, also scored on the play.
- The Bears immediately leveled the score at two in the bottom of the first.
- Missouri State pushed across the go-ahead run in the second, but Valpo was pleased to limit the damage to a single tally after the inning started with the bases loaded and nobody out. The run scored on a double play.
- Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) grounded a single through the right side to get Valpo back to even in the third, then the Brown & Gold regained the lead in the fourth as Jonathan Temple (Turlock, Calif. / Turlock [Modesto JC]) smoked an RBI double down the left-field line and Steven Fitzsimmons (Golden Valley, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper) yanked a run-scoring single to right.
- A two-out single in the bottom of the sixth helped the Bears create another deadlock, this time at five.
- The game was scheduled to be seven innings in length, but it went to an extra frame all even at five. A Schmack single followed by a Parker Johnson (Golden Valley, Minn. / Hopkins) fielder’s choice bouncer helped Valpo get one in the top of the eighth, but a two-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the inning sent Missouri State to victory.
How It Happened – Game 2
- Missouri State scored once in the first and twice in the second, but Valpo starter Ryan Mintz (Lombard, Ill. / Willowbrook) settled in to work five innings of three-run, five-hit ball and left the game in position for the victory.
- Valpo grabbed the lead in the fourth with a four-run frame that included a run-scoring single by Schmack.
- Missouri State scored six times in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-4 lead. Three of the runs were unearned.
- Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) came on to work a scoreless bottom of the eighth, but the five-run lead held up and the Bears captured the nightcap after a long day at the ballpark.
Inside the Games
- Johnson enjoyed two hits in Game 2 to pace the team. The opener saw Schmack boast a multi-hit output.
- Valpo played its 13th one-run game of the season in Game 1 of the twinbill and dropped to 6-7 in such contests.
- The first game of the doubleheader was Valpo’s fifth extra-inning affair this year as the team slipped to 2-3 in bonus baseball.
Valpo (14-32, 9-18) and Missouri State (20-22, 10-13) will close out the regular season on Saturday as the fourth and final game of the series gets underway at 11:30 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.